Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling
Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy
Chapter 8: Congestion in Europe: Measurements, patterns and policies
Piet H.L. Bovy and Ilan Salomon 1. INTRODUCTION Congestion has become an inseparable characteristic of many transportation systems. Transportation systems are developed to support public welfare and facilitate economic growth by providing accessibility. Greater mobility is usually associated with greater welfare. However, the evolution of mobility, in both the qualitative and quantitative aspects, has developed to such levels that in many places and times it generates signiﬁcant negative impacts. These include externalities, such as congestion, environmental pollution of various kinds and safety costs. A congested transport system may fail to deliver sufﬁcient economic beneﬁts, and may have negative ramiﬁcations on the competitive position of a region in the European Community. Transportation policy making is thus becoming an art of balancing the desired improvements in mobility and the minimization of its costs to levels deemed acceptable by society. From the perspective of European policy analysis, the congestion issue is directly related to policy questions such as planning and investment decisions in TERNs (Trans-European Road Networks), ﬁnancial support to countries and regions in developing international and interregional road links, and the question of fair and efﬁcient pricing of transport in infrastructure and transport use (Kinnock, 1995). These and other policy issues require a much deeper understanding of the congestion phenomenon and of the impacts of congestion. Congestion is experienced daily not only by many road users, but also by rail and airport travellers, as well as by shippers of freight on these modes. As road congestion is...
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